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Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology
ITS Joint Program Office

About ITS Standards

Life Cycle of ITS Standards

From Initial Development to USDOT Application

SDO develops, approves, and publishes standard. Standard is tested. Standard matures and ITS products are developed. Adoption of standard through USDOT rulemaking

SDO develops, approves, and publishes standard

Standards development organizations (SDOs) coordinate the development of standards:

  • During development, an SDO committee writes and documents the technical aspects of standards.
  • Standards then go through a balloting process, where committee or working group members review the technical merits of the standards. A standard may or may not pass balloting.
  • Standards that have passed all necessary ballots are approved. At this stage the standard can be used but is not yet published.
  • Approved standards are published by the SDO and are available for purchase.

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Standard is tested

Testing measures the operation, correctness, and completeness of a standard under realistic transportation operating conditions. It also measures the degree of interoperability among standards and provides information about the performance of a standard to the ITS community.

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Standard matures and ITS products are developed

As standards mature, competition develops among vendors to provide a range of equipment with differing levels of functionality. This gives transportation managers greater flexibility in choosing products that best suit their particular project requirements.

Standardized components lead to interoperability (the capacity of a device to communicate with different types of ITS devices) and interchangeability (the capacity to substitute one manufacturer's device for another).

ITS devices, based on open standards, lead to cost savings, as well as to easier and more efficient systems maintenance and operations.

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